January 2022 Book of the Month Predictions

It is that time of the month where all of us Book of the Month subscribers start to anxiously anticipate the next month’s releases. I am here to speculate and possibly predict which books will be selected for Book of the Month main picks and add-ons. I limit my predictions to two books per genre, except for thrillers and contemporary & literary fiction where there is often more than one selection.

Last month was the first time I tried predicting the Book of the Month selections. I did so with mixed success. I will say that December is a tricky month to predict due to limited releases and BOTM’s selection of big books they missed earlier in the year. Hopefully, this month I will predict more than two!

Main Selections

Contemporary & Literary Fiction

Fiona and Jane

Jean Chen Ho

A witty, warm, and irreverent book that traces the lives of two young Taiwanese American women as they navigate friendship, sexuality, identity, and heartbreak over two decades.

Debut

Black Cake

Charmaine Wilkerson

In this moving debut novel, two estranged siblings must set aside their differences to deal with their mother’s death and her hidden past—a journey of discovery that takes them from the Caribbean to London to California and ends with her famous black cake.

Debut & Early Release



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Wahala

Nikki May

An incisive and exhilarating debut novel of female friendship following three Anglo-Nigerian best friends and the lethally glamorous fourth woman who infiltrates their group.

Debut

Brown Girls

Daphne Palasi Andreades

A blazingly original debut novel about a group of friends and their immigrant families from Queens, New York—a tenderly observed, fiercely poetic love letter to a modern generation of brown girls.

Debut


Historical Fiction

The Saints of Swallow Hill

Donna Everhart

Where the Crawdads Sing meets The Four Winds as award-winning author Donna Everhart immerses readers in a unique settinga turpentine camp buried deep in the vast pine forests of Georgia during the Great Depression—for a captivating story of friendship, survival, and three vagabonds’ intersecting lives…

Don’t Cry for Me

Daniel Black

With piercing insight and profound empathy, acclaimed author Daniel Black illuminates the lived experiences of Black fathers and queer sons, offering an authentic and ultimately hopeful portrait of reckoning and reconciliation. Spare as it is sweeping, poetic as it is compulsively readable, Don’t Cry for Me is a monumental novel about one family grappling with love’s hard edges and the unexpected places where hope and healing take flight.

Early Release


Romance

Love & Other Disasters

Anita Kelly

The first openly nonbinary contestant on America’s favorite cooking show falls for their clumsy competitor in this delicious romantic comedy debut.

Debut

Must Love Books

Shauna Robinson

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill meets Younger in a heartfelt debut following a young woman who discovers she’ll have to ditch the “dream job” and write her own story to find her happy ending.

Debut


Thrillers

The Maid

Nita Prose

A charmingly eccentric hotel maid discovers a guest murdered in his bed. Solving the mystery will turn her once orderly world upside down. A Clue-like, locked-room mystery and a heartwarming journey of the spirit, The Maid explores what it means to be the same as everyone else and yet entirely different—and reveals that all mysteries can be solved through connection to the human heart.

Debut

Notes on an Execution

Danya Kukafka

A gripping and atmospheric work of literary suspense that deconstructs the story of a serial killer on death row, told primarily through the eyes of the women in his life.

The Fields

Erin Young

It starts with a body―a young woman found dead in an Iowa cornfield, on one of the few family farms still managing to compete with the giants of Big Agriculture. When Sergeant Riley Fisher, newly promoted to head of investigations for the Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office, arrives on the scene, an already horrific crime becomes personal when she discovers the victim was a childhood friend, connected to a dark past she thought she’d left behind. The investigation grows complicated as more victims are found.

Debut


Fantasy & Science Fiction

The School for Good Mothers

Jessamine Chan

One lapse in judgement lands a young mother in a government reform program where custody of her child hangs in the balance. The School for Good Mothers explores the perils of “perfect” upper-middle-class parenting, the violence enacted upon women by the state and each other, and the boundless love a mother has for her daughter.

Debut

Daughter of the Moon Goddess

Sue Lynn Tan

A captivating debut fantasy inspired by the legend of the Chinese moon goddess, Chang’e , in which a young woman’s quest to free her mother pits her against the most powerful immortal in the realm and sets her on a dangerous path—where choices come with deadly consequences, and she risks losing more than her heart.

Debut


Add-Ons

Honor

Thrity Umrigar

Honor tells the story of two couples and the sometimes dangerous and heartbreaking challenges of love across a cultural divide. In this tender and evocative novel about love, hope, familial devotion, betrayal, and sacrifice, Thrity Umrigar shows us two courageous women trying to navigate how to be true to their homelands and themselves at the same time.
 

Debut

Good Rich People

Eliza Jane

A destitute woman deceives her way into the guesthouse of a Hollywood Hills mansion and inadvertently becomes a target in the twisted game of the wealthy family upstairs in this intoxicating novel.

Real Easy

Marie Rutkoski

It’s 1999 and Samantha has danced for years at the Lovely Lady strip club. She’s not used to mixing work and friendship―after all, between her jealous boyfriend and his young daughter, she has enough on her plate. But the newest dancer is so clueless that Samantha feels compelled to help her learn the hustle and drama of the club. But a dancer is also gathering information about a murder and sharing it with a detective. Who will be a suspect?

Reckless Girls

Rachel Hawkins

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Wife Upstairs comes a deliciously wicked gothic suspense, set on an isolated Pacific island with a dark history.

Repeat Author

Anthem

Noah Hawley

Something is happening to teenagers across America, spreading through memes only they can parse. At the Float Anxiety Abatement Center, in a suburb of Chicago, Simon Oliver is trying to recover from his sister’s tragic passing. He breaks out to join a woman named Louise and a man called The Prophet on a quest as urgent as it is enigmatic. Who lies at the end of the road? A man known as The Wizard, whose past encounter with Louise sparked her own collapse. Their quest becomes a rescue mission when they join up with a man whose sister is being held captive by the Wizard, impregnated and imprisoned in a tower. 

Repeat Author

Weather Girl

Rachel Lynn Solomon

A TV meteorologist and a sports reporter scheme to reunite their divorced bosses with unforecasted results in this electrifying romance from the author of The Ex Talk.

Reminders of Him

Colleen Hoover

After serving five years in prison for a tragic mistake, Kenna Rowan returns to the town where it all went wrong, hoping to reunite with her four-year-old daughter. But the bridges Kenna burned are proving impossible to rebuild. Everyone in her daughter’s life is determined to shut Kenna out, no matter how hard she works to prove herself. The only person who hasn’t closed the door on her completely is Ledger Ward, a local bar owner and one of the few remaining links to Kenna’s daughter. But if anyone were to discover how Ledger is slowly becoming an important part of Kenna’s life, both would risk losing the trust of everyone important to them.

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